Just as Oklahoma prepares on Nov. 1 to join the list of states banning investments with ESG promoting companies like BlackRock Inc., the company’s leader defends the firm’s actions against some oil and gas funding.
BlackRock Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink, speaking at the Institute of International Finance annual membership meeting on Wednesday, claimed he is not against oil companies. Responding to attacks from such states as Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana, Fink said BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, still invests in oil and gas companies according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg quoted Fink as stating he believes BlackRock will be “part of the solution” in transitioning to clean energy. He added, that unfortunately, “facts are not important with some subgroups in this country.”
Not liking the conversation from BlackRock over the past year, Oklahoma legislators quickly adopted The Energy Discrimination Elimination Act of 2022 and it will become law on Nov. 1, as OK Energy Today reported earlier this week.
The new law will require the State Treasurer to maintain a list of financial companies that are boycotting energy companies followed by action to divest state funds from those companies. The Attorney General would also be allowed to take legal action to enforce the Act.
Texas adopted a similar law and in Louisiana, the state announced last week it was withdrawing nearly $800 million from BlackRock. Oklahoma’s pension investments total $12.5 billion with the investment firm. So any pullout would send a strong message with BlackRock.
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